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Uploaded on Aug 8, 2007
From KETC, LIVING ST. LOUIS Producer Jim Kirchherr pays tribute to Capt. Wendell Pruitt, a local veteran whose deeds outshone the shadow of racism, bringing pride and recognition to not just St. Louis' African American community, but to the whole city. Pruitt was a Tuskegee airman and a member of the 302nd squadron. During Pruitt's years overseas, he flew in 70 missions and returned home to St. Louis a hero—he was given a key to the city, had an elementary school and a housing project named after him, and was even honored with his own day on December 12, 1944. Unfortunately, when Pruitt responded to the call of duty again and returned to Tuskegee to prepare new recruits for war, he was killed during a training exercise. "Pruitt was an inspiration in both his personal and professional life," Kirchherr says. "His bravery is a source of inspiration for St. Louis' African American community then and now."